Thursday, November 13, 2014

Turkey Giblet Gravy

If you are in a hurry, you can always get turkey gravy in a jar or can…   But lets be honest—NOTHING  beats the taste of fresh, homemade turkey giblet gravy!  Its really not that hard, so if you have never done it, and aren’t sure what to do, I can walk you through it until you are a master.   My parents took giblet gravy on a holiday very seriously.  We never cut corners on this, we always made “the real thing”.   Giblet gravy is so much more than a sauce.  Its the very important, slow-cooked, pure essence of the entire roasted turkey itself!  It enhances the flavor of the meat, compliments it perfectly and captures the very best natural flavors the bird has to offer.   Although the bird itself is delicious, we often saw the gravy as the true star of the holiday dinner table.  We drizzled it over our meat, stuffing, potatoes…   Even dipped our bread in it.   No holiday meal is complete, without the gravy.  

Turkey Giblet Gravy

--Raw Giblets of one turkey (neck, heart, liver, etc.)
--Water (start with 6 cups, add more as needed)
--Drippings from roasting pan of cooked turkey (can be added gradually while cooking the turkey, saving some for basting, then add all of it after turkey is done)
--Extra salt and pepper to taste, if needed
--4 tablespoons corn starch or flour
--½ cup cold water

** Start making your gravy as soon as possible.  Preferably as soon as you put your turkey in the oven, or even right before then.  The longer you cook the giblets and gravy base, the more tender they will be and the better your gravy will turn out—it will also make your house smell wonderful!   This recipe was meant to be used while roasting a holiday turkey in the oven.   But if you are not roasting a bird, and you simply want to make this gravy, use 2 cups of chicken broth, in place of roasting pan drippings. 

1.        Place the raw giblets and 6 cups of water in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.   Allow giblets to simmer until the last 45 minutes before your turkey is done roasting.  If the water in your pan gets low, add enough to bring it back up to the original level.   Or more, depending on how much you want to make. 
2.       As the giblets simmer, gradually steal bits of pan drippings from your turkey pan, and add it to your gravy water.   As the bird cooks, more and more pan drippings will drain from the bird.  Be sure to leave enough for basting your bird.
3.       At the last 45 minutes before your bird is done, remove giblets from the water pot.  Leave the water simmering.
4.       If you don’t like meat or giblet bits in your gravy, sip to the next step.  But if you do-- place giblets on a plate and set them in the freezer for 5 minutes or so, until they are cool enough to handle.   Once they are cool, peel all the meat off the turkey neck.  Throw away the bones.  Gather the meat into a small pile and chop it up very fine with a sharp knife.  Now chop the heart, liver, etc. (or any pieces you like and discard the others) into very small pieces as well.   Place finely chopped giblet pieces back into the water pot. 
5.       When your bird is done and resting on the counter, take all the remaining drippings out of the turkey roasting pan and add it to your giblet water pot.  Add any extra salt or pepper now, to your taste. 
6.       Place the 4 tablespoons of corn starch (or flour) in a cup and add the ½ cup cold water.   Mix very thoroughly with a fork until it is perfectly blended and there are no lumps.   Pour immediately into the giblet gravy pot (do not allow the corn starch/flour to settle in the cup).   Stir the pot quickly to prevent any clumps from forming. 
7.       Turn the heat up and bring the gravy to a boil for 5 minutes, to help it thicken.   If you want the gravy thicker, repeat step 6 with more water/cornstarch/flour mixture.  Wait an additional 5 minutes to check the thickness.   Stir frequently.  Remember, gravy will also thicken quite a bit as it cools.
8.       When gravy is as thick as you like, remove the pot from the heat.  Transfer to a gravy bowl/vessel and serve over your turkey and mashed potatoes. 

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